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Michigan State University

Grants and Related Resources: Background Information

A compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

Foundation Center

The Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization recognized as the nation’s leading authority on organized philanthropy. The Center's homepage contains a wealth of information and tools, including a link to Foundation Directory Quick Start, a limited version of Foundation Directory Online Professional database listed below (free registration required). 

MSU Libraries is a member of the Foundation Center's Funding Information Network.  The Main Library's Funding Center (on 1 East) collection contains recently published grant and financial aid directories and books on fundraising and grant/proposal writing. Materials may be used in-house or checked out with an MSU or Community Borrower's card. They may also be requested through Interlibrary Loan. Consult the Main Library hours of operation and Reference hours to see when staff are available to offer assistance.

To find a Funding Information Network (FIN) Partner Library closer to home, consult the Foundation Center's Directory of Funding Information Network Partner Libraries.  Resources and services vary, so contact the FIN partner library prior to visiting.

Online Resources Provided by the Foundation Center

Foundation Directory Online Professional.  Funding database created and maintained by the Foundation Center. Provides access to detailed profiles on over 140,000 private and corporate foundations, corporate giving programs, grantmaking public charities, and federal agency funders.  Updated weekly.  Also provides information on grant recipients, over 8 million recently awarded grants, and over a million recently filed IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF.  Available across all MSU IP Ranges and to anyone with a current MSU NetID and password.  Non-affiliated visitors can request access at the Main Library Reference Desk or utilize Foundation Directory Quick Start, a limited version of the database (free registration required). Consult the following tutorials for guidance in using the database:

  • Search by Phrase in FDO (YouTube, 2:01 minutes, January 26, 2018). Learn about FDO's global search bar and open-ended search to find funders.
  • Advanced Search & Filters (YouTube, 7:25 minutes, January 26, 2018).  Learn more about how to use Advanced Search & Filters in FDO. A great tool to help you build and modify a search for funders. Simply modifications can help you generate better search results.
  • Navigating Search Results in FDO (YouTube, 5:56 min, January 26, 2018). Learn about FDO's search functionalities and how FDO helps you find the best matched funders.
  • Key Parts of a Grantmaker Profile (YouTube, 6:17 minutes, January 26, 2018).  Learn about the key sections and insights provided by FDO's Grantmaker Profiles.
  • Subject, Location, Grant Size, and Trends in FDO (YouTube, 4:56, minutes, January 26, 2018).  Assess if a funder is a good match based on its subject, location, and grant size trends over the last 5 years.

FDO Field Definitions.  Geared toward individual subscriptions, but still helpful for MSU's institution-wide interface.

Learn more about the Foundation Center's Taxonomy

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online  (Main Library Access Only) : Detailed information on more than 10,000 foundations that give grants or scholarships to individuals. 

Catalog of Nonprofit Literature.  Useful for identifying additional books and journal articles on a wide variety of topics. Many of these resources are available in the MSU Libraries or requestable through InterLibrary Loan. Most articles can be requested directly from the Foundation Center as a benefit of our membership.

Foundation Maps.  A data visualization tool to see who's funding what and where around the world. 

Foundation Stats.  Resource for generating tables and charts on the size, scope, and giving priorities of the U.S. foundation community.

GrantCraft.  Develops and curates resources across different strategies, issues, languages, and formats. Note: requires free registration.

GrantSpace.  A portal to free information available from the Foundation Center sorted by subjects, skills, classroom, tools, blog.  Also provides sample Prospect Worksheets and access to a GrantSpace Blog for grantseekers.

IssueLab.  Provides a search engine and a full-text collection of over 7000 foundation-sponsored reports.

Philanthropy News Digest (PND).  A compendium, in digest form, of philanthropy-related articles and features culled from print and electronic media outlets nationwide. There is a searchable archive of past articles in the upper left corner of the PND site.

Requests for Proposals.  PND also provides information on requests for proposals by large national funders, sorted by subject.

Ask the Online Librarian.  Want to tap the expertise of the Foundation Center staff?  Check out this page with answers to many questions, but also a link to a chat interface and an online form for submitting email questions.

Subject Guide Profile

Anita Ezzo's picture
Anita Ezzo
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Main Library
366 W. Circle Drive
Room E408
East Lansing, MI 48824
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